|LST 808 burns April 18, 1945 Ie Shima
The crew of the 808 , who were wounded in the attack, were sent to a Navy tent hospital located on a sand dune at the beach.
Part of our unit, (Navy Detachment Baker), was right next to the hospital with a signal tower. The Japs dropped either a bomb from a seaplane that had landed and was sitting in the harbor (one story) or a damn baka bomb (suicide rocket) to make a long story short, as my Mom would say, when word came, our Skipper, (Lt. Cmdr. Talbot), mustered all available personal to go dig out the wounded. When we got to the beach, there were many casualties, including NCB, who were immediately out of the war, and many of the other casualties either killed or re-wounded were from 808, send you more if I think of it, use what you think will be interesting.
One day at the Museum, two women were checking the bricks for their Dads name, they said he was a dozer operator in the CB's, and he talked of burying Jap's, I saw him on the ridge of Ie Shima digging a trench, with at least 500 bodies to bury.. we had the only other D7 on the island, and they were worn out building the air strip, l making redoubts for guns , building roads, hauling heavy guns, trucks vans and even tanks up the sides of that damn Mountain. The native Okinawan's, had tombs formed like a pregnant woman's bell, with walls bent to angles to replicate legs giving birth, and a spirit wall to keep evil spirits out, made fine revetments for our Radio & Transmitter vans. You got me started.. We were on an island with 5000 land mines, booby traps, all sorts of suicide Bushido nuts, snipers, Kamikazes, we had 177 air raids in 90 days ( the limit of our operation, then we were supposed to get R&R ha-ha);
The 1st thing that greeted us when we ran off the landing boat, was a series of lowboys, lined with shoeless corpses under ponchos, waiting to be shipped to the Okinawa for burial, great moral builder. Then up this muddy road, some guy yells "Watch Out !, look to the left, and there we saw a manned Jap anti air craft gun. Until we approached closer, when we discovered it, the whole position was weaved from straw.. They had created Zeros made of straw. Besides the 8 in guns they hauled in from Singapore in the caves, they had huge logs placed in caves to look like Naval guns. That 1st night, in a foxhole, I was never as afraid in my life. Steve